A Novel Language and Environment for Teaching Programming

Topic Description

In his essay 'Learnable Programming, Bret Victor argues that programming environments have to become much more sophisticated and programming languages have to become more readable and composable to really support the learning of programming. He provides several examples of what he has in mind.

His ideas have inspired JSdares (http://www.jsdares.com/blindfold) and Choc (http://www.fullstack.io/choc/), both visual environments for (a subset of) Javascript, a language that may not be the most suitable for teaching programming to novices.

The aim of this PhD project is to develop and evaluate a textual programming language and corresponding programming environment that would improve the teaching and learning of programming. The aim would be to eventually use the developed language and environment in our level 1 Computing module and outreach activities.

Skills Required:

Excellent programming skills essential. Pedagogical background or experience of teaching introductory programming desirable.

Background Reading:

- Bret Victor, Learnable Programming (http://worrydream.com/LearnableProgramming/), September 2012
- Jan Paul Posma, Building jsdares (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDMaAorPMj0), Seminar at the Open University, February 2014

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